Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA’s) are a labelling guide to help you make informed choices about the food you eat. It gives an overview of the percentage of energy and key nutrients that are in a product per serving, specifically those nutrients that may increase the risk of diet related illnesses. GDA’s refer to the percentage of energy and key nutrients in a product per serving that contributes to your estimated daily nutrient intake. It indicates how much energy, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt/sodium is in the product and how these nutrients contribute to an overall balanced diet.
In product labelling, GDAs look like thumbnails/bubbles/buttons that appear on the front of packaging. It would specifically state whether the product is for children or an adult, and percentages will be reflected accordingly.
GDA’s are calculated and are based on an average diet and can help you understand what’s in the food you eat and how it fits into your diet. Because people vary in many ways (e.g. age, height, gender and activity levels), GDA targets are not set for an individual’s nutritional requirements, but are rather used as a benchmark for the average population. GDA values are different for children and are calculated using guideline daily amounts for children. The values represented on the GDA buttons are those values of the product consumed. So if you’re having a glass of MILO, it takes into account the nutritional value of the MILO beverage with 200mL of low-fat milk.
To help you read a GDA label on your favourite products, we have an example that shows what 1 serve of Milo (20g), made with 200mls reduced fat milk contains, and how this contributes to your nutrient intake for the day.
The GDA for children for energy is 7530kJ. One serve of Milo and milk gives you 770kJ which is 9% of your daily energy intake (770/7530 x 100)
The GDA for sugar is 85g. One serve gives you 14.5g which is 17% of your daily sugar intake. This takes into account the sugars in the milk as well.
The GDA for fat is 70g. One serves give you 3.7g which is 5% of your daily intake
The GDA for saturated fat is 20g. One serve gives you 2.2g which is 11% of your daily saturated fat intake.
The GDA for sodium is 1.600mg. One serve gives you 99mg which is 6% of your daily sodium intake.